Cyberlink has been leading the home theater software market for years, and the new version of their flagship product, PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D, continues to widen the gap between Cyberlink and the competitors. In version 9, PowerDVD raised the bar on HD video rendering, and they look to do the same thing with 3D technologies in version 10.
PowerDVD 10 not only plays new movies exceptionally well, it can also improve the movies you already own. TrueTheater HD software can upscale 480p video to 1080p, which means you can watch your old DVDs and movies and they will look sharp and clear on an HDTV. Even more impressively, you can also take your old 2-D movies and upgrade them to 3D.
PowerDVD can help with personal movies as well. One of the more problematic aspects of home movies is the tendency of the image to jump around and shake. PowerDVD uses image-recognition software to stabilize the image for home movies, so even movies made by children are stable and viewable. A Noise Reduction feature can also eliminate some of the graininess inherent in low-quality videos.
One of the frustrating aspects of software is buying a new program only to have technological changes render a purchase obsolete within a few months. Cyberlink has avoided this problem by offering free upgrades for PowerDVD. In particular, they already ensure a free upgrade for Blu-Ray 3D to ensure that the software will be compatible with the new discs that will be available in the next year.
PowerDVD supports high-quality audio formats like DTS and Dolby Digital to ensure that every movie sounds as good as it looks. Additionally, PowerDVD can also function as a high-quality music library, so all of your favorite tunes and albums will benefit from Cyberlink’s commitment to high-definition audio and will sound as good as possible.
PowerDVD makes it easy to connect with friends and family with built-in integration for social utilities like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. You can also download trailers and share reviews with other movie lovers on MoovieLive or upload your movies easily to YouTube.
The control panel can now be docked right into the Windows taskbar as well, which makes it easy to control a movie while working in several other windows simultaneously.
As far as playing DVD and Blu-Ray discs, PowerDVD has virtually no equal. However, sometimes playing files stored locally on a hard drive can lead to a few problem. In particular, the software seems to have trouble rendering FLV Flash files, OGG, and other streaming formats. In some cases, this could be due to poor encoding practices by the creators of the files or other corruptions of the file itself.
Additionally, the 2D to 3D upscaling is intriguing, but it only works on DVD disks rather than on Blu-Ray or locally stored files. Additionally, the technology has difficulties with certain video shots, particularly moving shots across wide backgrounds such as prairies or forests. Some users may find the feature more trouble than it’s worth.
Other than these few problems, most users will find the upgrades to PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D well worth the purchase price.